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5 Secrets of a Winning “Talk”

The auditorium is full, audience is eagerly awaiting for you to come. You can hear the loud clap! You are getting introduced by the host, and there you go… your name has been announced! As you place the first step on the stage, you hear the loud claps and excitement of the audience.

If you’ve already been through the above scene and are a pro at it, you might want to read this to add some more spice to your talks! If you are getting goose bumps imagining this, and are gearing up for your talk, then here are 5 secrets that you can use, to deliver that message that can impact many people’s lives.

Everyone has a story and some message to share with others. We also call it as “Teachable Point of View” (TPOV). In organizations, leaders can adapt this as a method to build great culture and connect! People planning for TED talk like forums in future, can also follow these 5 ingredients of a great talk. Hope you like them.

If you have more secrets, then well….. please do share in the comments of this article! Knowledge only grows with learning and sharing!

1.    Decide the STORY – meaning and message that you want to convey

This is the toughest one to decide, but here few amazing set of questions that can help you draft your story.

Remember your toughest or saddest moment of life. What was it all about? Who were the people involved? What was the challenge? Did it get resolved? How? What were your biggest learning out of that? What will you do differently if it happens again? What will you advise others who are or might be going through similar situations?

By now, I’m sure you have a story to tell along-with a meaning/message.

2.    Use metaphors/analogies

When you are preparing for this story, make conscious efforts to integrate some metaphors or analogies to describe your feelings, message or anything that you want audience to remember.

Example: After a lot of contemplation, I decided to quit my career after 18 years, and in the first six months, it felt almost as if I’m getting a new birth. New born moments, like feeling overwhelmed on small things, being dependent for basic needs, insecurities owing to lack of experience as an entrepreneur, need for people to care and hold me in lonely times and much more…  Yes, it’s not easy, yet, what we need to understand is that babies do grow up well if nurtured properly. I just needed good mentors and coaches to guide me through it, and get me to an independent state – just like what parents do for their new borns.

Metaphors/analogies play a big role to retain the message in audience’s brain, it also connects the speaker with the audience if related common raw nerves are used as metaphors or analogies.

Who wouldn’t pay attention, if you are able to connect your situation with big hit movies, hit shows, current affairs, common famous personalities etc.

This needs to be prepared well in advance, refrain from trying extempore connections initially. Once you are confident, it will flow naturally.

3.    Opening : The first 30 seconds

This is very critical, as suggested in few of my earlier blogs too. Here are some of the strategies –

a) Ask some reflective or rhetoric questions to the audience, related to your message. It should start with phrases like –

  • How many of you would……
  • How many of you like….
  • How many of you feel….

b) Start with a story scene, make the audience visualize the whole scene, describe the visuals, audio, smell, taste, touch (5 senses), so it comes out very real.

Example:

That beautiful bright morning, I was sitting in the dining room, waiting for my breakfast. I could smell that perfect aroma of spices coming from the kitchen. With my i-phone in my one hand, I was browsing new deals on electronics in amazon. I didn’t realize when dad came and sat right in front of me. Suddenly I heard a loud thud, as if something had fallen. Shaken from the sound I stood up to see, that my dad (pause)…deliberately threw a wooden cushioned dry fruit box on the ground. (add humor)… yes, every story is not tragic!.

I looked at him in anger, and asked : Why??? He smirked and said – “Son, you use to do this to get our attention, when you were a kid”. I didn’t know how to react, I hugged him and reflected on this … .. continue with the objective of your talk …

4.    Rule of 3 works wonders

a.     To create a mind map for your audience, so they can retain your talk for a long time, use the rule of 2 – 3

Example phrases below will make you realize how powerful and confident you sound when you say this aloud (if possible show the numbers through your fingers when talking)

i. Today I’m going to talk about these 3 things  – money, power and destiny!

ii. Here are 3 reasons, why this will work or this won’t work

5.    Use simple vocabulary

Last but not the least remember, you might be GREAT in your vocabulary, but most of your audience will have average IQ. They might get mesmerized listening to your new words and diction, but remember that there are higher chances that you lose your connect owing to those heavy words that people haven’t heard much. Gone are the days, when complex and higher vocabulary meant better intelligence and output. These days emotional intelligence and connect weighs more than your language intelligence.

With simplicity comes authenticity, human connect and understanding. A very apt example is “Mumbai Dabbawala’s TED video”, do watch it if you haven’t.

Hope this blog is helpful. Feel free to like, share and comment.

We at NeuCode Talent Academy provide C-Suite presentation coaching for public speaking events. Contact us in case you’d like to learn more latest cutting edge tools and techniques.

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